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General question about errors

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1
    Hi guys,

    I have a very easy question to ask - been bugging me for a while but I keep
    forgetting to ask it!
    So I am doing a particle counting experiment at the moment and changing the
    conditions slightly each time to see if there is an increase in the number of counts
    (there should be, I'm trying to show that with the level of statistics I have it is
    undetectable though). My question is an extremely simple one about errors in the
    increase of counts.
    Say I count 232 particles (giving me an error of approx. 15) and then alter the conditions
    and count 246 particles (giving me an error of approx. 16). Then the percentage increase
    in counts is (6.03 ± 9.72)% (adding the errors in quadrature). My question is, is this enough
    to say that the increase in counts is statistically insignificant? Or do I need some other sort of argument?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #2
    You'd have to precisely define statistically insignificant.
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